Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Power of Flickr

If you follow my SassyDLite blog, you know that I took time a few days ago to dabble with a YouTube montage of my Spring 2008 collection. I had just finished posting on our group forum that I had no time to delve into the intricacies of YouTube, when I decided to hit the One True Media link that Elayne from ChezChani boutique had featured.

Well, I honestly didn't intend to play with a montage the other day, but for techno geeks these little toys are irresistable. Within minutes, literally, my montage was ready. You see, I already had an old Flickr account loaded with lots of fairly good pics from the Fall'07 and Spring '08 collections. OneTrueMedia allows you to access your Flickr albums with one click et voila, loads of stills to add to a personalized slideshow or montage (again with one click). I actually spent more time pouring through OneTrueMedia's online library of music than I did making the montage.

What's all the buzz about Flickr anyhow? Well, Flickr is an online picture storage facility that allows you to upload and store in collections and sets all the photos you could ever want to share online.

Once your pics are uploaded, you can share with family or friends, blog about them (one click), send them to groups (free online promotion) , organize them into relevant collections, etc. and of course you always have convenient access to your photos for adding them to sites, blogs or email even when you're not at your desk.

But Flickr is much more than an online photo storage facility. Flickr is compatible with and feeds into several critical online promotion venues like Blogger, Squidoo and HubPages for example. So a Flickr album is the starting point of a sound social marketing effort. We'll discuss these advanced promo venues later...

Getting back to Flickr - I joined roughly a dozen or so Flickr groups. These aren't groups that I socialize or chat with much. They're groups of photos for viewing:

I Made it Myself (10,404 members)
NEW CRAFT (4,714 members)
NEW Etsy.com love (6,460 members)
NEW Handmade Jewelry (2,867 members)
NEW Etsy - Look and Learn (3,522 members)
NEW indie designers ::: (975 members)
NEW Etsy Artists Rule: 1 Million Picture Pool (1,415 members)
NEW Metalicious (353 members)
etsyBEAD (207 members)
Jewelry, Ornaments & Textiles (3,358 members)
Buyhandmade.org (462 members)
Beautiful Copper (191 members)
Etsy Supplies (525 members)
Earrings (1,122 members)
Art You Wear (319 members)

But each group will accept your membership request and they all have discussion threads where we can promote ourselves and eSMArts!

And to promote handmade art via etsy it is recommended that photos of new work be uploaded to Flickr on a regular basis (daily if you can). I don't have time for daily uploads to Flickr. If I had an assistant that might be possible, but right now I'm solo.

So when I remember to do it, I try to upload a few pictures of my nicer work to my Flickr album. Then I just copy the pics to a few jewelry, handmade, etsy or craft photo pools. The big photo pools have limits like 2 pics per day, but the important thing here is to develop your own routine, your personalized online promotion checklist.

I found it useful to keep a chart of all my login IDs and passwords hanging above my computer screen. I've organized these venues in the order that I usually attack them in.

Everyone agrees that great pictures really help in the online selling of handmade artwork, so strive to steadily improve this facet of your online presence. Each week, I try new photo techniques, better backgrounds, different angles, lighting & surfaces, etc.

I heard about Flickr through reading etsy discussion threads. I learned about the Flickr jewelry and craft photo pools again from the etsy forums. And you know what? Practically all the jewelry for which I uploaded images to Flickr last fall has sold. I don't think this is a coincidence. Someone asked me the other day what online promotion technique works best for me, and I should likely have said Flickr!
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